SMK Graduate Gap Still Occurring

Kompas, page 1

Gaps in vocational graduates still occur between the number of graduates and the needs of the community. Graduates of vocational fields of marine and fisheries in 2016, for example, were only 17,249 people, while the labor requirement for these fields reached 3,364,297 people. The gap is also visible in vocational graduates of agribusiness and agro technology. Based on Basic Education Data in October 2016, there is a vocational level manpower need in the field of as many as 445,319 people, while the vocational graduates available are only 53,319 people.

Opportunities for manpower need in the tourism sector were recorded at 707,600 people, but in 2016 the number of vocational graduates in this field was only 82,171 people.  In contrast, the number of graduates of vocational fields of business and management overflowed. Labor requirement opportunity for this field was only for 119,255 people, while the graduates generated were 348,954 people.

Education practitioner E. Baskoro Poedjinoegroho said such development of SMKs without direction could happen because the Indonesian people tend to want to as quickly as possible merely to answer technical problems alone.  He pointed out the Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2016 on SMK Revitalization. He judged the Instruction was solely so that young people are not idle and that Indonesia become competitive. The government should find a fundamental matter that is the background for efforts to emerge vocational schools (SMKs) for this country.

Satryo Soemantri Brodjonegoro, Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, said the company satisfaction in employing SMK graduates improved compared to eight years ago. However, development of SMKs is absolutely necessary in order to meet the dynamics in the business world and development.

Based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, in February 2015, the unemployment rate among SMK circles was the highest compared to the unemployment rate among graduates of other educational levels. The unemployment rate among graduates of SMKs reached 9.05 percent.  There were 1.2 million unemployed vocational school (SMK) graduates in that period.

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